Most players have a “weapon” or at least a favorite shot they go to when they need a point. A secret to winning is to NOT let them have that shot.
Don’t give them the shot they want to hit.
For example, I was playing a Friendship Cup singles match a couple of years back (New England vs. Quebec) and lost the first set badly. My opponent, who was the #1 70s player in the province (#3 in the country), Ali Bacha, had a killer drop shot; and he must have used is 20-30 times in that set (so many times that he apologized as we changed over to start the second set!).
“What did you do about it?”
So I moved in and played three feet INSIDE the baseline; and could more easily get to any drop shot he hit. I ended up taking both the second and third sets.
Here are some situations:
- Cross-court returner – Playing doubles against someone with a great cross-court return of serve, try playing Australian and forcing them to change their stroke and go down the line.
- Lobber – Facing someone in doubles who lobs all the time, stand back nearer the service line and take that shot away.
- Lefty spin server – Getting beaten by a lefty spin serve down the middle in the deuce court or out wide in the ad court, move over to force them to change their serving pattern down the middle.
- Big booming server (especially on hard courts) – Roy Emerson always coaches us to not only have the returner stand back further, but also have his partner start at the baseline too.
What other shots can you take away?
DeDe and I are still in rainy New Hampshire; but concerned about our Florida friends, who are now in the path of powerful storm Irma.
Are you there? Are you staying or leaving?
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